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The Clout and Worth of Bishops

Bishops are among the powerful minor pieces in chess. They are known to reign along diagonal lines on the board when queens are not around or busy with something else and they are effective in both long and short range assaults. It would be vital to know more about bishop moves in chess to also know their value.

Two bishops are given each player at the start of the game. The king and queen each has a bishop lined up in the initial formation. In algebraic notation white bishops stand on C-1 and F-1 while black bishops on C-8 and F-8 at the start of a game. Before they can be released from formation the pawns in front of them must be cleared because they cannot jump over or bypass any piece, ally or enemy. They stand beside a knight and the king or queen in the formation.

Bishops, white or black, are of two kinds: those hat stand only on black squares and those only on white squares. Bishops travel in diagonal direction only, back and forth. They check and capture any enemy piece that stands in their path. They can travel long distance from territory to territory in one move, as long as their paths are unobstructed. They can also operate in short, lightning-speed operations, like capturing several pieces in enemy territory and then quickly get out.

Bishop moves in chess match the queen's diagonal capabilities. Hence, together with a rook, two bishops can match an enemy queen. In fact, when supported well, bishops sometimes have the nerve to check queens diagonally, face to face. Bishops can also work in tandem with an ally queen, either giving strong back up for it or supported by it. Bishops may be used for assault and defense.

However, many players find bishops poor guardians for the king. They may have some worth playing bodyguard roles for their kings when in tandem with a knight or a rook. But even 2 bishops are sometimes not enough to guard their king. One reason is that they cannot support each other—one being always on black squares and the other on white ones. The same cannot be said of rooks and knights.

Bishop moves in chess should be well considered in a game. They are excellent "snipers" in checking major pieces from afar when supported or just holding pieces in abeyance—like pinning or skewering. Being adept at playing bishops will definitely give us more winning odds in chess.

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